Manchester United announced this week that new signing Odion Ighalo will wear the number 25 shirt.

The shirt had been vacant since former captain Antonio Valencia was released last summer, before subsequently returning to Ecuador.

Valencia still keeps up to date with what’s going on at Old Trafford, and sent a message to Ighalo wishing him luck.

Ighalo appeared to appreciate it, thanking Valencia for his best wishes.


Ighalo told the club website: “Twenty-five is a perfect number. One above what I wore before when I was in the Premier League.”

Support could be key

Ighalo has a chance to be a success at United during his loan spell and it is important he is made to feel welcome. Valencia’s message helps.

There has been a lot of correct criticism of United’s transfer policy, but it is important to separate that from the player himself.

Ighalo is a United supporter and this is his dream move. If he feels the support and ignores the negativity, he will settle in quickly.

He said: “I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be a Man United player, I’m looking forward to the game and I promise to give my best from the first day I put on the jersey to the last day of my time here.”

While just a loan spell, Ighalo is only 30, and what happens at United could give his career a new lease of life.

He’s playing for a future opportunity, whether that’s at United or another top flight European club, he has to make this loan stint count.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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